I met my sister when I was 17.
I was a camp counselor. I had 6 13 year old girls I was in charge of for one week. K. was one of my girls. We shared the same middle name, freckles and tendency to sunburn. After the week was over she sent me letters, I replied.
I ended up going to college in the town she lived in, so I would occasionally pick her up at school and we’d go have frozen custard.
I could always tell when she was up to something, because she would start asking lots of personal questions that would eventually prompt me saying, “Just what are you doing that you need to tell me about?” Then she’d spill and I’d advise and commiserate.
I left the town, the state, and eventually she ended up at the same college I’d attended. She was an RA with Sunday night duty. I had free long distance on Sundays, so we fell in the habit of talking every Sunday night. The conversations were sometimes broken up by all the college joy, but other times we had hours to catch up – advise and commiserate.
Strangely, my girl got married before I did, but I was still older and took the lead in the advice. It’s possible it’s because I’m pushy and mouthy too. Possible. (No comments, Scout.)
We’ve both ended up far from home, but only 3 hours from each other, which is just a randomness that life pleasantly handed us.
It took me longer than it should have to be hit with the awe and gratitude that we will be raising our children together. Once I realized that, I also realized that as soon as her pregnancy was over, that I would have no advice left to give. I would no longer be having an experience years ahead of her, we would be having this whole mommyhood experience together.
I’m so proud of the woman my little girl grew up to be. I’m grateful she’s still just enough my baby girl to call me way late at night to tell me that her baby girl is in the world. She’s tired, but she’s made it through.
And already, I made the change over. I had no advice, it’s her story and she will write it her way. I’m just glad we can be in this together.
I don’t say I love you easily or often. In fact, I get touchy when I hear it said too often b/c I start believing it less the more I hear it. However, when I got off the phone with her, it came so easily, as it always does with her.
(ps. I love you, too, ITHLaT.)